A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
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Klere (ix cent.); Cleare, Clera (x cent.); Clere (xi cent.); Kyngescler (xiii cent.).
In 1831 the parish of Kingsclere, which has been described as ' too healthy to die in and too poor to live in,' covered a far larger area than it does at the present day. It extended over 17,000 acres, and stretched from the River Enborne in the north to the Port Way, the ancient road from Salisbury to Silchester, in the south, Baughurst and Wolverton bounding it on the east, and Newtown, Burghclere and Litchfield forming its western boundary. Since then Kingsclere Woodlands has been formed into an ecclesiastical district, Ecchinswell and Sydmonton have been constituted separate parishes, and the area of Kingsclere with Kingsclere Woodlands is now only 13,116 acres of land and 10 acres of land covered by water. The general rise of the ground is from the north up to the range of lofty downs in the south which runs from King John's or Cottington's Hill to Inkpen Beacon, near Hungerford. The town is situated in about the centre of the parish at the point where the roads from Basingstoke to Newbury and from Andover to Reading cross, and are joined by a road running north from Whitchurch. A stream rises about 300 yds. south of Kingsclere and flows almost due north through the town to empty itself into the River Enborne, which forms the boundary between Hampshire and Berkshire. The town is picturesque, but none of its buildings present any special architectural interest except the parish church, which stands on the western side of the market place. The rectory was originally at the north-east of the church, but in 1853 the building was used as two cottages and afterwards demolished. (fn. 1) Some of the oak panelling was taken to Beenham Court, about 2 miles north of Kingsclere, when that house was being built in 1875, and some is at Elm Grove, the residence of Mr. William Holding, D.C.L., J.P., to the east of the towna house built in the early part of the 19th century and much enlarged and altered at its close. The ancient vicarage-house was to the south-west of the church. It was abandoned, and the vicar had no residence of his own until 1850, when the present vicarage was built at a cost of 1,407 on 2 acres of land given by William third Lord Bolton. (fn. 2) The Falcon Inn, one of the oldest in Hampshire, is especially interesting as being at one time in the possession of William Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury, who in 1510 gave it to Winchester College upon trust for the maintenance and support of the scholars upon its foundation. (fn. 3)
It is probable that the kings of England often rode through Kingsclere on their way to and from Freemantle Park, to which they resorted for hunting. The park remained part of the royal demesne till the beginning of the 17th century. Kingsclere was also important during the Civil War owing to its proximity to Newbury. (fn. 4) On 21 October 1644 Charles I intending to relieve Basing House marched hither from Whitchurch, but finding the enemy so greatly his superior in cavalry, after one night's halt he continued his march towards Newbury. (fn. 5) According to Captain Symonds, the author of Marches of the Royal Army, the house at which the king spent the night was Frobury Manor House, about a mile northwest of the town, his host being Robert Towers. (fn. 6) In this house, which is now occupied by the farmer of the lands, is still shown what is called a priest's chamber. The following statement made by Edward Prior, a witness in an Exchequer suit of 1674, is also significant: 'About the beginning of the late trouble there was a vicarage house in Itchinswell, wherein the curate for the time being did usually live, which house partly fell down, and was partly pulled down in the time of the late trouble.' (fn. 7) About two miles south-west of Kingsclere, Cannon Heath Down, Cannon Park and Cannon Heath Farm preserve the memory of the canons of Rouen, the early holders of the manor. Cannon Court was in the occupation of James Hunte towards the close of the 16th century. (fn. 8) Charles first Duke of Bolton built Canham or Cannon's Lodge, probably on its site, from materials said to have been brought from the ruins of Basing House. It was for some time occupied as a huntingbox by the first Earl of Mexborough and afterwards by Henry Frederick Duke of Cumberland, brother of King George III, but was pulled down in 1805. (fn. 9) The heath now forms part of the training-quarters belonging to the celebrated Park House Racing Stables which formerly belonged to Sir Joseph Henry Hawley, bart.; the present proprietors are the Dukes of Wellington and Portland, for whom Mr. William Waugh trains. The soil is chalk and clay, the subsoil chalk. The chief crops are wheat, barley and oats. Kingsclere and Kingsclere Woodlands contain 5,586 acres of arable land, 3,013 acres of permanent grass and 1,804 acres of woods and plantations. (fn. 10) The common fields were inclosed in 1845. (fn. 11)
Ecchinswell is a long, narrow parish lying between Kingsclere and Sydmonton, and containing 2,349 acres. The village lies in the centre of the parish near the source of a small stream which rises close to the site of the old church, east of the vicarage near the watercress bed, marked by the tombstone of Mr. John Digweed of Ecchinswell House, whose interment took place inside the church in 1844. There are two burial grounds in Ecchinswell; one surrounds the present church, the other was purchased and consecrated in 1844. (fn. 12) The vicarage-house was built during the incumbency of the Rev. Lewis Rugg, M.A., in1853. (fn. 13) Ecchinswell House, now the property of Mr. Lionel T. Wasey, was occupied by the late Major William H. Digweed until his death about 1880.
The soil is rich loam and the subsoil gravel and chalk. The chief crops are wheat, barley and oats, and watercress is also grown. There are 905 acres of arable land, 817 acres of permanent grass and 75 acres of woods and plantations in the parish of Ecchinswell. (fn. 14) The inclosure award is dated 13 November 1850. (fn. 15)
Sydmonton is a long, narrow parish bounded on the east by Ecchinswell and on the west by Newtown, Burghclere and Litchfield. To the north of the church, which is in the centre of the parish, is Sydmonton Court. This house has several times been altered and enlarged and is at present occupied by Sir Charles Elliot. South of the church is a terrace from which a fine view may be obtained of the North Downs across the intervening valley. Sydmonton Dower House, belonging to the lord of the manor, is now on lease. The chief crops are wheat, barley, oats and beans.
The total area is 2,145 acres, comprising 1,382 acres of arable land, 448 acres of permanent grass and 332 acres of woods and plantations. (fn. 16)
Kingsclere Woodlands was formed into an ecclesiastical parish from the northern parts of Kingsclere in 1846, and contains 4,790 acres. It averages about 300 ft. above the ordnance datum, and is watered by three tributaries of the Enborne, which form its northern boundary. St. Paul's Church is situated near Ashford Hill, and near it is the vicarage, which was built in 18478. (fn. 17) Beenham Court is a modern house standing on the site of Mrs. May's farm of the same name which was pulled down in 1875. (fn. 18) To the north is Headley Common, which is intersected by the main road from Basingstoke to Newbury, which enters Berkshire at Knight's Bridge over the Enborne. Knightsbridge House is the residence of Mrs. Caroline E. Lamb.
Among ancient place-names in Kingsclere are the following:a field called Rammesholte (fn. 19) (xii cent.); lands called Denpurcuc, Tawyerescroft, (fn. 20) Williamsmore, Nortle (Norley Copse) (fn. 21) and Wluithesmede (fn. 22) (xiii cent.); a wood called Hauekhurst (Hawkhurst Hill), a bridge called Ixnesford (Exmansford), waste-land called Smetheburgh, (fn. 23) pasture called Polelond and Holtemede (The Holt), (fn. 24) and crofts called Hagenhull and Strokyngeslond (Strokins) (fn. 25) (xiv cent.); a messuage called Coppidhalle (fn. 26) (xv cent.); lands called Wigard or Wiggers, Strattons, Little Pychehornes, (fn. 27) a tenement called Wakemans, (fn. 28) a meadow called Crooked Meade, (fn. 29) and a messuage called Gaylys (Gailey's Mill) (fn. 30) (xvi cent.); and a mill called Abbot's Mill (fn. 31); closes of pasture called Apsanger, (fn. 32) a messuage called Holthatche, (fn. 33) and lands called Fordefieldes, Maiden Meade, Wakriges, Asheford Hill and Readinges (fn. 34) (xvii cent.).
The following place-names in Ecchinswell are found on the Court Rolls:lands called Bishopp's Ashley and Twichens, (fn. 35) a copse called Frobreche, public ways called Carvyles and Hachhouse Lane and a messuage and virgate of land called Le Garre (fn. 36) (xvi cent.); fields called The Midlemawme, The Little Mawme, Ilond Close, Little Maulin near Twynlie, Merrie Hill, (fn. 37) Mousehoale (fn. 38) and Bishopp's Greene, a copse called Mowles and messuages called Plott House and Mookells. (fn. 39)
Donymeade and Pontesdowne in Sydmonton occur in the 16th century. (fn. 40)
KINGSCLERE formed part of the ancient demesne of the Crown. King Alfred by will left it for life to his second daughter Ethelgiva, Abbess of Shaftesbury, (fn. 41) and there are many other mentions of it in Saxon charters. Thus in 931 King Athelstan at a Witenagemot at Colchester granted 10 hides of land at Clere to Abbot Aelfric. (fn. 42) Again, in 943 King Edmund bestowed 15 hides of land at Clere on the religious woman Aelfswith, (fn. 43) while sixteen years later King Edgar gave his thegn Aelfwine 10 hides of land at West Clere. (fn. 44) At the time of the Domesday Survey Kingsclere contributed towards the day's ferm rendered from Basingstoke, (fn. 45) and remained in possession of the Crown until 1107, in which year Henry I granted it to the canons of the church of St. Mary of Rouen. (fn. 46) This grant was confirmed by Henry II between 1154 and 1158, (fn. 47) by Richard I in 1190, (fn. 48) and by Henry III in 1227. (fn. 49) Henry III also in 1227 granted the wood of Wittingley quit of all forest law in free alms to the church of St. Mary, Rouen, and the dean and chapter there to dispose of at their will, (fn. 50) and confirmed the same grant in 1247. (fn. 51) The dean and chapter remained in possession of the manor until the end of the reign of Edward II, (fn. 52) when it came into the possession of the Crown by reason of the war between England and France and was committed to the custody of Peter de Galicien in 1324. (fn. 53) Edward III on his accession granted it during his pleasure to his clerk Robert de Wyvyll, parson of the church of Kingsclere, (fn. 54) but before four years had elapsed the Dean and Chapter of Rouen had evidently regained possession of their manor. Thus in 1331 an inquisition was held on their complaint that the king's foresters of Pamber had claimed as part of the royal forest 100 acres of wood and 300 acres of pasture (fn. 55) which had always belonged to their manor of Kingsclere. (fn. 56) At length in 1335 the connexion of the dean and chapter with the parish was severed, the king in that year granting them licence to alienate the manor to William de Melton, Archbishop of York. (fn. 57) On the death of the archbishop in 1340 Kingsclere passed to his nephew William, son of his brother Henry de Melton, (fn. 58) in accordance with a settlement made in the same year. (fn. 59) William the nephew obtained a grant of free warren in his demesne lands of Kingsclere in 1346, (fn. 60) and was succeeded by his son, Sir William de Melton, (fn. 61) who died seised of the manor in 1399, leaving a son and heir John, aged twenty-two and more. (fn. 62) John, who was soon afterwards knighted, granted a forty years' lease of the manor in 1404 to William Fauconer of Kingsclere, (fn. 63) and in 1431 was returned as holding the manor of Kingsclere for one knight's fee. (fn. 64) He died in 1455, leaving a son, John de Melton, (fn. 65) who on his death nineteen years later left as his heir his grandson John, son of his son John, (fn. 66) who succeeded to this manor only after the death of his grandmother Cecilia in 1484. (fn. 67) In 1505 the manor was settled on him on the occasion of his marriage with his second wife Eleanor daughter of Sir John de St. John and widow of John Zouche. (fn. 68) He died in 1510 and was succeeded by his son John, (fn. 69) whose only daughter and heir Dorothy (fn. 70) joined with her husband, Sir George Darcy, in 1544 in selling the manor to Sir William Paulet Lord St. John. (fn. 71) From this date the manor remained with his successors, (fn. 72) Marquesses of Winchester (fn. 73) and Dukes of Bolton, (fn. 74) until the death without issue of Harry sixth Duke of Bolton in 1794. (fn. 75) It then passed in accordance with a settlement made by Charles, the fifth Duke, to Thomas Orde, the husband of his natural daughter Jean Mary. Thomas Orde assumed by sign manual the additional surname and arms of Powlett in 1795, and was elevated to the peerage as Lord Bolton of Bolton Castle (co. Yorks.) on 20 October 1797. (fn. 76) The present lord of the manor is his great-grandson, William Thomas Orde-Powlett Lord Bolton.
There were two mills within the manor at the time of the Domesday Survey. (fn. 77) There is mention in the 14th century of a water-mill which was farmed out for 16s. 8d. a year. (fn. 78) One water-mill is generally included in extents of the manor of the 14th and 15th centuries, (fn. 79) but two watermills and one wind-mill are mentioned in 1544. (fn. 80)
The site of the wind-mill is perhaps marked by Mill Green, near the River Enborne. In 1859 there were four mills in the townTown or Pope's Mill, Island Mill, Gailey Mill and a mill called Victoria Mill. (fn. 81) Of these Gailey Mill probably occupied the site of Gales Mill, which was an appurtenance of the manor of Sandford. In 1875 James Bradfield of Fox Grove was the proprietor of Upper and Lower Mills, and William Prior of Victoria and Town Mills. (fn. 82) At the present day there are three mills in KingsclereUpper or Gailey Mill (steam and water) Victoria and Lower Mills.
In 1218 the king ordered that the market which had been held in Kingsclere on Sundays should in the future be held on Saturdays. (fn. 83) Warner, writing in the 18th century, mentions a well-frequented market on Tuesdays, and fairs the first Tuesday in April and the first Tuesday after 10 October. (fn. 84) In 1848 the market was still held on Tuesdays, but had fallen very much into disuse, only a few farmers meeting at the Swan Inn with samples, (fn. 85) and it probably ceased altogether about 1850. The fairs are still heldon Whit Tuesday for pleasure on Ashford Hill and the Tuesday after Old Michaelmas Day for hiring servants and pleasure in the market place.
The Kings of England from a very early date owned a large estate in the parish called FREEMANTLE (Freitmantel, xii cent.; Frigidum Mantellum, Francmantel, xiii cent.). One of Fair Rosamond's bowers was in Freemantle Park, (fn. 88) and there are numerous references to Freemantle in early Pipe Rolls. In 1183 the sum of 31s. 2d. was spent on work at the king's houses at Freemantle, (fn. 89) the steps and wall of the king's chamber were repaired at a cost of 18s. 2d. in 1185, (fn. 90) while twelve years later 20s. was paid to Eljas, the engineer (Ingeniator) for repairing the king's houses at Freemantle. (fn. 91) King John stayed at Freemantle no fewer than thirty-seven times during his reign, (fn. 92) probably for hunting, and there are many entries on the Close Rolls of expenses incurred in the carriage of wine to his residence there. (fn. 93) In 1205 also John ordered the payment of 6s. 8d. to John son of Hugh for carrying the royal jewels from Windsor to Freemantle. (fn. 94) Edward I in July 1276 granted the manor of Freemantle with the royal houses, park and all appurtenances to Reginald FitzPeter, for life, (fn. 95) but six months later ordered him to deliver the king's houses there to Pain de Chaworth, (fn. 96) who the same day obtained permission from the king to pull them down, and to carry away and dispose of the timber, walls and other things in them. (fn. 97) In 1280 Edward I sought to recover the estate from Reginald, (fn. 98) but failed in his attempt, and Freemantle did not revert to the Crown until the death of Reginald in 1286. (fn. 99) From this date the park remained in the possession of the Crown until the 17th century. As is shown below, the manor of Edmundsthorp Benham was theoretically held by the serjeanty of keeping the park, but in practice the parkers were appointed by the Crown. (fn. 100) Till about 1340 the wages were fixed at 2d. a day, (fn. 101) but in 1343 Simon Bacon was appointed parker for life at the wages of 3d. a day and 13s. 4d. yearly for a robe, (fn. 102) and this rate of pay continued. (fn. 103) The parker from an early date was allowed ten cartloads of hay a year for the deer in winter. (fn. 104) In the 15th century also the custom had arisen of paying him five marks a year for supplying the deer and game with water in the summer, (fn. 105) and from the 16th-century grants it appears that the parkers when appointed had a right to all the herbage and pannage of the park, reserving, however, sufficient food for the deer. (fn. 106) Sir William Sandys was appointed parker in 1510, (fn. 107) and Sir Humphrey Forster of Clere Woodcott in 1541. (fn. 108) In 1608 James I granted the reversion of the office after the death of Sir William Kingsmill to Henry Kingsmill, (fn. 109) but in the course of the next thirty years the park had ceased to be Crown property and had passed into the possession of Francis Cottington, created Lord Cottington of Hanworth on 10 July 1631, (fn. 110) who dealt with it by fine in 1640. (fn. 111) During the civil wars Lord Cottington remained faithful to the royal cause, and eventually went into exile with King Charles II. (fn. 112) Freemantle Park was accordingly sequestered, and was for some time administered by Trustees of Irish Affairs, the revenue apparently being used for public purposes in Ireland, but finally by order of 1651 the park was discharged from sequestration and delivered to President Bradshaw, to whom it had been granted by Parliament. (fn. 113) At the Restoration Freemantle Park passed to Charles Cottington, the nephew and heir of Francis Lord Cottington, who had died at Valladolid in 1653, (fn. 114) and for some time remained in the Cottington family, Francis Cottington dealing with it by recovery in 1739. (fn. 115) In 1778 it was in the occupation of Henry Fitch, (fn. 116) but shortly afterwards the mansion was taken down and the park converted into a farm. (fn. 117) Freemantle Park Farm, the site of King John's house, was in the possession of the yeoman family of Hyde in the middle of the 19th century. (fn. 118) It now belongs to Mrs. Currie of Minley Manor.
By an inquisition taken in the reign of Henry III it was returned that the park contained 1,136 perches, and that only part of it was inclosed. (fn. 119) The work of inclosing the park was soon afterwards completed, and large sums of money were spent every year in cutting down timber and repairing the paling. (fn. 120)
Henry III, Edward I and Edward II made frequent presents of deer taken in the park, (fn. 121) and in a Close Roll of 1315 there is an interesting entry, viz. an order to the king's yeoman John de Knokyn to take venison in the park of Freemantle, to find salt and barrels for the same, and to cause it to be sent to Carlisle and delivered to Robert de Welle, receiver of the king's victuals. (fn. 122) There were still deer in the park in the 17th century. (fn. 123) By the order of the commissioners of the navy a survey was made of the timber in the park in 1650, and it was returned by the surveyors that it contained 437 trees fit for the uses of the navy. (fn. 124) The site of the park is marked at the present time by Freemantle Park Down, King John's Hill or Cottington Hill, Freemantle Park Farm and Park Copse, which are situated between one and two miles south of the village of Kingsclere. According to tradition King John's house occupied a site on the southern slope of King John's Hill, which reaches a height of 754 ft. above the ordnance datum and commands a splendid view extending over six counties. A spectacula or watch tower was built on the summit by one of the Cottingtons in the 18th century, but is now in ruins.
The manor of ECCHINSWELL (Eccleswelle. xi cent.; Echeneswell, xiii cent.; Itchinswell, Itchingeswell, xvi cent.; Itchinwen, Itchinswen, xviii cent.), sometimes also called the manor of NUTHANGER (Notehangre, xiv cent.), from the name of the capital messuage, formed part of the original endowment of the see of Winchester, and at the time of the Domesday Survey was assessed at 7 hides. (fn. 125) The manor continued to form part of the possessions of the bishopric until 1648, (fn. 126) when as a result of the Root and Branch Act it was sold to Nicholas Love and George Wither. (fn. 127) In 1660, however, the manor once more came to the bishop, and continued to be held by him until as late as the middle of the 18th century. (fn. 128) The lordship was soon afterwards acquired by the Herbert family, Henry John George Herbert Lord Porchester, son and heir of Henry George second Earl of Carnarvon, dealing with the manor by recovery in 1821. (fn. 129) His grandson George Edward Stanhope Molyneux, the fifth earl, is at the present time lord of the manor of Ecchinswell.
Of the leasehold tenants of the manor we know that in 1580 John Watson, Bishop of Winchester, leased the site of the manor for eighty years to Queen Elizabeth, who six months later made over the remainder of the lease to Sir Henry Wallop. (fn. 130) At the sale of the bishop's lands in 1648 the site of the manor of Ecchinswell or Nuthanger Farm was described as now or late in the possession of Robert Wallop. (fn. 131) In 1744 the site of the manor was granted to Matthew Combe, M.D., to hold during the lives of Samuel Burroughs, Sarah Morley and Sarah Burroughs. (fn. 132)
Two mills worth 100d. were included in the extent of the manor taken in 1086. (fn. 133) At a court of the manor held in 1595 John Benham paid 6d. on taking up a water-mill with an orchard in Ecchinswell which had fallen into the hands of the lords on the surrender of Robert Kisby and Anne his wife. (fn. 134) No mills are mentioned in the deed of sale of 1648, (fn. 135) but there is a water-mill in the parish at the present day. A warren of conies called Ashley and Tidgrove near Ecchinswell, and a little house called The Lodge in the warren, which had been leased for twenty-one years by Walter Curll, Bishop of Winchester, to Nicholas Christmas in 1639, were included in the sale of Ecchinswell Manor to Nicholas Love and George Wither in 1648. (fn. 136) The site of the warren is marked at the present time by Ashley Warren Down and Ashley Warren Farm in the south of the parish.
The manor of SYDMONTON (Sidemanestone, xi cent.; Sidemontaine, xvii cent.) formed part of the original endowment of the abbey of Romsey, (fn. 137) and continued in its possession until its dissolution in 1539. (fn. 138) In the following year Henry VIII granted it with the pasture called 'Donymeade' and 'Pontesdowne' in Sydmonton to John Kingsmill of Whitchurch, (fn. 139) who died seised of it in 1556, leaving a son and heir William. (fn. 140) He bequeathed the manor for life to his wife Constance, (fn. 141) who remained seised of it until her death in 1580, (fn. 142) when it passed to Sir William Kingsmill, knight. On the death of Sir William in 1592 it passed to his son and heir William, who, dying in 1619, was succeeded by his second but first surviving son Henry. (fn. 143) The latter died five years later, leaving a son and heir William Kingsmill, (fn. 144) who suffered much during the civil wars. He was really on the Parliamentary side and only acted for the king under compulsion, being forced in 1642 by the king's summons to go to Reading, where he was made sheriff, 'an office which he took in the honest sense of serving his country for which it was first ordained.' (fn. 145) In April 1645 he petitioned the Committee for Compounding to settle him in his estate in Hampshire, alleging that he had been thrice plundered by express order from the king, by whom he had been sequestered for the last twelve months, that he had lost 400 in horses and cattle by Lord Manchester and Sir William Waller when lying at Newbury, and that owing to the position of his house between the two parties in the middle of the western road he had been obliged to entertain all comers. He was at length permitted to compound for his estate in May 1651 by payment of a fine of 750. (fn. 146) He died in 1661, leaving a son and heir, Sir William Kingsmill, on whose death in 1698 the manor of Sydmonton passed to his eldest son, William Kingsmill, (fn. 147) who died unmarried in 1766. This estate then passed to his niece Elizabeth the daughter of his sister Frances Cory, who married Captain Robert Brice, afterwards Admiral of the Blue. (fn. 148) Robert took the name of Kingsmill by Act of Parliament in 1766, was created a baronet on 24 November 1800, and died without issue in 1805. (fn. 149) He left Sydmonton to the Rev. John Stephens, vicar of Chewton Mendip (co. Somers.), (fn. 150) who assumed the surname and arms of Kingsmill by royal licence in 1806. (fn. 151) He died in 1814, leaving an eldest surviving son, William Kingsmill, who married Anne Jane daughter of William Howley, Archbishop of Canterbury, (fn. 152) and died in 1865, leaving issue William Howley Kingsmill, whose son and heir, Mr. Andrew de Portal Kingsmill, is the present lord of the manor.
The manor of FROBURY (Frolleberi, Frolebyr', Frollesbyr', xiii cent.; Frollebury, xiv cent.; Throlbery, xv cent.; Frowbery, Froylbery, xvi cent.) is not mentioned in Domesday Book by name, and is probably represented by one of the estates in the hundred of Kingsclere held of the king in chief, perhaps by the 2 hides which Ravelin had been holding for twenty years and more. (fn. 153) The history of the manor for some time is obscure, but in the middle of the 12th century it was probably held by Ranulf de Broc, usher and chief marshal of the household to Henry II, its tenure being attached to the serjeanty of being usher to the king. (fn. 154) On his death about 1187 it was probably assigned in dower to his widow Damietta, the lady of Chetton, Eudon and Berwick (co. Salop), who held it until her death in 1204, (fn. 155) in which year the sheriff of Hampshire was ordered to give seisin of the manor to Stephen de Turnham and Edelina his wife, the daughter and heir of Ranulf and Damietta. (fn. 156) Stephen held the manor in right of his wife until his death (fn. 157) about 1214, (fn. 158) when it passed to his widow, who as Edelina of Frobury was returned by the Testa de Nevill as holding 6 worth of land in the vill of Frobury of the king in chief by the serjeanty of guarding the king's door. (fn. 159) Edelina survived her husband about six years, leaving by him five daughters and co-heirs, Maud or Mabel the wife of Thomas de Bavelingham, Alice the wife of Adam de Bending, Eleanor who married Roger de Leyburn, Eleanor who married Ralph Fitz Bernard and Beatrice the wife of Ralph de Fay. (fn. 160) Frobury fell as her share to Beatrice, probably the eldest daughter, and passed from her to her daughter Philippa the wife of William de Nevill, (fn. 161) who in the middle of the 13th century was stated to be holding half a hide in Frobury of the old enfeoffment by the serjeanty of guarding the door of the queen's chamber. (fn. 162) In 1249 Philippa de Nevill granted it in free marriage to William de Wintershull, (fn. 163) who had married her daughter Beatrice, (fn. 164) and from this date Frobury continued in the Wintershull family for about two centuries. William obtained licence to impark his wood of Frobury, which covered an area of 10 acres, in 1260, (fn. 165) and died seised of the manor of Frobury in 1287, leaving as his heir his son John, aged thirty - five. (fn. 166) Beatrice, however, continued to hold the manor, and presented to the chapel of Frobury in her widowhood during the episcopacy of John of Pontoise (12821304). (fn. 167) On her death it passed in accordance with her wishes to her second son Walter, (fn. 168) who in 1310 released his interest in it to his younger brother Edmund, (fn. 169) but it ultimately reverted to Walter or his heirs for his grandson. (fn. 170) Thomas died seised of a messuage and half a hide of land in Frobury in 1387, leaving a son and heir Thomas. (fn. 171) Thomas son and heir of the last-named, who succeeded to the manor in 1400, (fn. 172) died twenty years later leaving no issue, and his property was thereupon divided between his two sisters and co-heirs, Joan the widow of William Weston, and Agnes the wife of William Basset. (fn. 173) Frobury fell to Agnes (fn. 174) and passed from her to Thomas Basset, probably her son, Sheriff of Surrey and Sussex in 1457. (fn. 175) Thomas Basset the younger, probably the son and heir of the above-named, dealt with the manor in conjunction with his wife Alice in 1482, (fn. 176) and died seised ten years later, leaving a son, Richard Basset, (fn. 177) who died in 1509, his heir being his son Thomas, aged twelve. (fn. 178) The manor, however, continued with Juliane widow of Richard. In January 1511 she married as her second husband a certain John Wintershill, (fn. 179) and had issue by him two daughters, Alice and Juliane. She died at Winchester in 1534, (fn. 180) and her husband, John Wintershill, continued to hold the manor until his death in 1545, when it passed to Joan wife of William Unwin, only daughter of Juliane by her first husband, her son Thomas having apparently left no issue. (fn. 181) The following year William and Joan sold the manor to William Paulet Lord St. John, (fn. 182) and from this date it has followed the same descent as the manor of Kingsclere, (fn. 183) the present owner being Lord Bolton. The site of the manor is marked by Frobury Farm and Frobury Park Copse, which are situated about a mile north-west of the village of Kingsclere.
The manor of CLERE, afterwards known as the manor of CLERE WOODCOTT from its early holders, was held by Saulf and Godwine of the king in the reign of Edward the Confessor. (fn. 184) William I bestowed it on Hugh de Port, and at the time of the Domesday Survey it was held of him by Faderlin. (fn. 185) The overlordship continued with the descendants of Hugh de Port, there being frequent mentions of Clere Woodcott in 14th-century lists of knights' fees held by the St. Johns. (fn. 186) An undated grant by Ruald de Woodcott to the nuns of Godstow (fn. 187) of the Bastard's virgate in Kingsclere and of other lands in the parish held of him by Herennardus makes it probable that he was then holding the manor. Before 1166 he had been succeeded by Henry de Woodcott or Henry Fitz Ruald, (fn. 188) probably the ancestor of the Henry de Woodcott (fn. 189) who at the beginning of the reign of Edward I was holding two knights' fees in Clere and Woodcott of the old enfeoffment of Robert de St. John. (fn. 190) He died leaving a widow Sanchea and an only daughter Philippa, who married Walter de Eversley, as is clear from a fine of 1286 whereby Walter and Philippa gave up holdings in West Litchfield and 'Hock' to Sanchea and Richard de Cardevile in exchange for all the land that Sanchea held in the vill of Kingsclere in dower of the inheritance of Philippa. (fn. 191) Gilbert Cundy, John Freemantle and Adam de la Fenne, who were probably trustees, in 1303 quitclaimed 1 messuage, 1 mill, 2 carucates of land, 10 acres of meadow, 30 acres of wood and 1 14s. rent in Kingsclere to Robert de Harwedon, clerk, (fn. 192) who settled the same a month or two later upon Walter de Eversley to hold for life for the rent of a rose. (fn. 193) On the death of Walter the premises reverted to Robert, who in 1307 obtained licence from the king to grant 1 messuage and 2 carucates of land in Kingsclere to Richard de Bourne, the provost of the chapel of St. Elizabeth by Winchester, (fn. 194) and from this date Clere Woodcott remained in the possession of the college or chapel until its dissolution in 1536. (fn. 195) In 1545 Lord Wriothesley, to whom Henry VIII had granted the site of the college with all its possessions a year before, (fn. 196) settled the manor upon his servant William Stone on his marriage with Frances Palmer, one of the daughters of John Palmer of Kentish Town. (fn. 197) William Stone died seised of the manor in 1549. (fn. 198) It was then held by his widow until her death twelve years later, when it passed to her son and heir Henry, a minor, (fn. 199) who died without issue in 1569. (fn. 200) On his death his property was divided between his two sisters and coheirs Mary and Catherine. (fn. 201) Clere Woodcott passed as her share to Catherine the wife of Christopher Willenhall of Willenhall, near Coventry. In 1571 Christopher and Catherine sold the manor to William Forster, (fn. 202) who made good his title to it in the following year, (fn. 203) and died in 1574, leaving a son and heir Humphrey. (fn. 204) The latter, who was afterwards knighted, died in 1601, when the manor passed to his son, William Forster. (fn. 205) William, who was likewise subsequently knighted, died in 1618, and was succeeded by his son Humphrey, (fn. 206) who was created a baronet in 1620, (fn. 207) and the same year sold the manor to John, James and Henry Hunt of Popham. (fn. 208) John Hunt died in 1625, and was succeeded by his son, James Hunt. (fn. 209) Another James Hunt was in possession in 1693, (fn. 210) while in 1715 his son and heir James conveyed the manor to John Bowen in order to bar the entail. (fn. 211) In 1739 it was apparently purchased by Matthew Bowen, (fn. 212) from whom it descended in moieties to two co-heiresses, Anne Bowen and Louisa wife of Thomas Threlkeld. In 1757 Louisa conveyed her moiety to George Prentis and John Saxon, (fn. 213) while eight years later Anne parted with her moiety to Richard Woodhouse and John Griffith. (fn. 214) The history of the manor for a short time after this is uncertain, but it eventually became part of the Wolverton estate, being purchased in 1795 by Sir Charles Pole, bart., of Wolverton Park, from John Davis, Jane Griffith widow of John Griffith, and William Cribb. (fn. 215) The name of Clere Woodcott is no longer preserved, but various farms situated north of the village which were included in the sale (fn. 216) Harriden Farm, Coldridge's Farm, Hall's Farm, Wheat Hold Farm, Scarlett's Farm, Ridding's Farm and Thornford Farmare still in existence.
At the time of the Domesday Survey there were two estates in KNOWL (Chenol, xi cent.; Cnolle, xii cent.), one held by Faderlin of Hugh de Port and assessed at 3 virgates, (fn. 219) the other by Oidelard of Ralph de Mortimer and assessed at 2 hides. (fn. 220) While the overlordship of the former estate continued with the St. Johns, the descendants of Hugh de Port, until as late as the 14th century, (fn. 221) the actual ownership passed with the rest of Faderlin's Hampshire property to Ruald de Woodcott and from him to his descendant Henry de Woodcott. (fn. 222) It is probable that this holding was comprised in the messuage and 2 carucates of land in Kingsclere granted in 1307 to Richard de Bourne, the provost of the chapel of St. Elizabeth by Winchester, (fn. 223) and if so it must have subsequently become merged in the manor of Clere Woodcott (q.v.). The overlordship of the latter estate continued with the Mortimers until as late as the middle of the 13th century. (fn. 224) Oidelard, who held it of Ralph de Mortimer, was perhaps the ancestor of Richard Labaanc, (fn. 225) who in the presence of Henry II and Queen Eleanor on the occasion of the admission of his mother Rose and his sister Cecilia as nuns to the nunnery of Godstow (co. Oxon.) gave to that foundation in free alms all his mother's dowry, viz., 'Cnolle and Swanton (fn. 226) [vide Swampton in St. Mary Bourne, Evingar Hundred], which belongs to the same, and Sandford and Hodicotte, (fn. 227) as much as my predecessors have possessed, viz., 5 hides,' in return for an annuity of 2. (fn. 228) This gift was confirmed by Hugh de Mortimer, (fn. 229) son and heir of the Domesday Ralph, (fn. 230) but in spite of this confirmation Ralph de Mortimer, his great-grandson, (fn. 231) at the beginning of the reign of Henry III exacted services from Amphyllis the Abbess of Godstow for the free tenement which she held of him in the parish of Kingsclere, and was obliged to renew the confirmation in 1229. (fn. 232) Some difficulty, however, still remained with regard to the tenure of the manor, for in 1257 Emma the Abbess of Godstow gave up all her right to rent from a mill in Worthy Mortimer in exchange for a charter by Ralph's son Roger, quitclaiming all right and claim in the whole of the tenement which the abbess and church held in fee in the parish of Kingsclere. (fn. 233) Richard Labaanc's gift was confirmed by Richard I and his successors, (fn. 234) and in addition Henry III showed great favour to the abbess and convent, granting to them in 1221 their reasonable estovers in their wood of Clere to repair the shingles on the roofs of their church, houses and offices of Godstow. (fn. 235) In the course of time the name Knowl was dropped, and the estate of the nunnery became known merely as the manor of SANDFORD. The abbess and convent remained in possession until the Dissolution, (fn. 236) when the manor fell into the hands of the king. (fn. 237) In 1540 the king granted it to John Kingsmill, (fn. 238) and its subsequent history is identical with that of the manor of Woodcott in the hundred of Pastrow (q.v.).
The site of the manor is marked by Sandford Farm and Sandford Wood, about a mile east of the village, while Knowls Farm, Great Knowl Hill and Little Knowl Hill, about three-quarters of a mile north-east of the village, still preserve the 'Chenol' of Domesday Book. The separation of Yew Tree Farm (i.e. the portion of Sandford on the south side of the new road) from Sandford took place in 1874. The present owner of Yew Tree Farm is Mrs. Humphries of Ogbourne, Wilts.
In 1280 the Abbess of Godstow, described as the holder of land in 'Sandelford de Knoll,' claimed the right to the fines of the assize of bread and ale at Kingsclere. (fn. 239)
There were two mills in the estate in Knowl held of Ralph de Mortimer by Oidelard at the time of the Domesday Survey, (fn. 240) and these were still in existence in the 16th century, water-mills called Gales Mill and Swayne's Mill being included in the grant of the manor of Sandford to John Kingsmill in 1540. (fn. 241) The site of the former is marked by the present Gailey Mill.
In the middle of the 12th century William de Salvervilla or Savervilla, with the consent of his wife Maud and his sons Gilbert, Manasseh and Robert, granted to Edith the first Abbess of Godstow and the church there his land called CLERE PREVET to hold of him and his successors for the rent of 22s. In return for this grant the abbess gave him 5 marks of silver, to his wife half a mark, to Gilbert 2s. and two silver dice, to Manasseh 1s. 6d., and to Robert 1s. 6d. (fn. 242) Manasseh, on succeeding to the property, exacted an annual payment of 28s. from the nuns, (fn. 243) but some time afterwards he gave up all right to it, in return for 25 marks, to Henry II, (fn. 244) who finally confirmed the gift in free alms. (fn. 245)
The probability, in lack of further definite information as to these lands called Clere Prevet, is that they were absorbed in the neighbouring possessions of the nunnery, possibly in the manor of Sandford (q.v. supra).
TIDGROVE (Titegrove, xi cent.) in the tithing of North Oakley was held by Faderlin of Hugh de Port at the time of the Domesday Survey and was assessed at 1 hide 1 virgate. (fn. 246) The overlordship continued with the St. Johns, the descendants of Hugh de Port, until the middle of the 14th century, (fn. 247) while the actual ownership passed like Knowl with the rest of Faderlin's Hampshire property to Ruald de Woodcott, (fn. 248) and from him to Henry Fitz Ruald, who in 1166 was returned as holding two knights' fees in Hampshire of John de St. John. (fn. 249) Tidgrove next passed into the possession of the priory of Sandleford or Sandford (co. Berks.), which also held five shillingsworth of land in Frobury of the manor of Frobury, (fn. 250) and it is quite clear that it had done so before 1241, for in that year John de Lancelevy, lord of the manor of Hannington Lancelevy, gave up his right to common of pasture in the prior's land of Tidgrove. (fn. 251) In 1280 the Prior of Sandleford was forced to acknowledge that he owed suit at the king's hundred court of Kingsclere for his possessions in the parish, (fn. 252) which were increased in 1312 when he obtained licence to acquire a messuage, 20 acres of land and 2 acres of meadow in Clere Woodland by Kingsclere from Thomas de Sandleford. (fn. 253) In 1346 the Prior of Sandleford was stated to be holding the eighth part of a fee in Tidgrove, (fn. 254) while in 1346 and again in 1349 in lists of St. John knights' fees his property is described as the fourth part of a fee of the yearly value of 40s. (fn. 255) Tidgrove remained in the possession of the priory until about 1478, when it was united with all its possessions to the collegiate church of Windsor. (fn. 256)
In the 12th century there was a royal residence in Tidgrove, as appears from the Pipe Rolls. In 1176 wine was sent to Tidgrove by the king's orders. (fn. 257) In 1177 7 16s. was spent on repairing the king's chapel at Tidgrove, (fn. 258) and in 1178 the king's houses at Tidgrove were repaired at a cost of 24 18s. 7d., (fn. 259) probably in preparation for the royal visit of the following year. (fn. 260)
At the beginning of the 13th century the manor of NORTH OAKLEY (Acle, Aclei, Oclye, Accleghe, xiii cent.; Northocle, xiv cent.) was held by Peter Fitz Herbert by serjeanty in the king's household, (fn. 261) and for some little time followed the same descent as the manor of Wolverton (q.v.), being held in the middle of the 13th century by Herbert Fitz Peter with Wolverton for two knights' fees. (fn. 262) In 1280 Reginald Fitz Peter, brother and heir of Herbert, made good his right to free warren in all his demesne lands in North Oakley, basing his claim on a charter of Henry III to his father, Peter Fitz Herbert, (fn. 263) but within the next thirty years the manor had passed to John de St. John, (fn. 264) the overlord of Ewhurst, who in 1310 granted the reversion after the death of Amadeus de St. John to Roger de St. John and Joan his wife. (fn. 265) From this time the manor followed the same descent as the manor of Ewhurst until about the middle of the 16th century, (fn. 266) when it passed by sale to Thomas Ayliff, (fn. 267) the brother of Richard Ayliff, who purchased Ewhurst. Richard Ayliff, son and heir of Thomas, (fn. 268) died seised of North Oakley Farm and other property in the parish in 1614, leaving a son and heir Thomas. (fn. 269) From the latter it descended to another Richard Ayliff, on whose death it fell to seven co-heirs. (fn. 270) One part passed to his sister Dorothy the wife of Thomas Woodyer, and descended from her to her son Thomas Woodyer, who in 1711 in conjunction with his only child Alice conveyed it to William Guidott of Preston Candover. (fn. 271) In 1769 John Fanshawe of Shabden in the parish of Chipstead (co. Surr.) (fn. 272) and Penelope his wife sold two-sevenths of the manor to Charles Bishop, (fn. 273) who three years later acquired the other five-sevenths from William Woodroffe Guidott, (fn. 274) the kinsman and heir of William Guidott, who had died in 1745. (fn. 275) By 1787 the manor had passed to William Mount of Wasing Place (co. Berks.) (fn. 276) and Jane his wife, who in that year joined with Christine Mount, John Francis Meyrick and Jane his wife and Harry Mount and Frances Dorothea his wife in conveying it to Oliver Cromwell (fn. 277) of Cheshunt Park (co. Herts.), the last direct male descendant of Henry Cromwell, the Protector's fourth (fn. 278) son. By the early 19th century all manorial rights had presumably lapsed, and at the present day the site of the manor is marked only by North Oakley Farm in the south of the parish.
Certain lands in NORTH OAKLEY were retained by Reginald Fitz Peter, as is apparent from the fact that in 1340 William Savage of North Oakley, who in 1323, in conjunction with Peter des Roches, had acquired a messuage and a virgate of land in North Oakley from Margaret de Wyndesore, (fn. 279) received licence in consideration of a fine of 30s. to retain 5 acres and 26s. 8d. rents in North Oakley by Hannington which he had purchased from Matthew Fitz Herbert, (fn. 280) great-grandson of Reginald. (fn. 281) In the same year William Brokhurst and Juliana his wife and their son Roger were pardoned for acquiring 100 acres of pasture from Matthew Fitz Herbert. (fn. 282) These holdings apparently passed to Alice Lancelevy, the holder of Hannington Lancelevy, who in 1346 was stated to be holding half a fee in North Oakley, which had belonged to John de Vivonia and his co-parceners. (fn. 283) It was granted with Hannington Lancelevy (q.v.) to Southwick Priory in 1384, (fn. 284) and from this date followed the same descent as the latter manor.
John Wallop at his death in 1486 was seised of lands and tenements of the yearly value of 20s. in 'Boltysham' held of William Dyneley as of the manor of Wolverton. (fn. 285) These lands and tenements probably represent the barn, 300 acres of land, 10 acres of meadow, 100 acres of pasture, 60 acres of wood and 20 acres of heath in North Oakley and Kingsclere called BOLSHAMS, of the annual value of 2, of which Richard Ayliff died seised in 1614, for in the inquisition taken in the next reign they were said to be held of Edward Lord Newburgh as of the manor of Wolverton by fealty and suit of court. (fn. 286) The further history of the manor of Bolteshams or Bolshams, as it was subsequently called, is identical with that of North Oakley (q.v.). (fn. 287)
The so-called manor of FREEMANTLE, now represented by Freemantle Farm, in the tithing of North Oakley, a short distance south-east of North Oakley Farm, was held under the manor of Manydown in the parish of Wootton St. Lawrence. (fn. 288) At an early date it was in the possession of the Freemantle family, (fn. 289) being granted for life to Sir Edward de St. John by John de Freemantle in 1357. (fn. 290) By the reign of Edward VI it had come with other property in the parish into the hands of William Warham, nephew and heir of William Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury, and in 1552 was settled by the name of a messuage and lands called Freemantles on him and his wife Elizabeth in tail-male. (fn. 291) In 1570 Francis Morrys and Anne his wife, granddaughter and heir of William Warham, (fn. 292) to whom the reversion had been granted ten years before, (fn. 293) conveyed the manor of Freemantle to Walter Beconsaw and Richard Beconsaw. (fn. 294) By the reign of Charles I it had passed, probably by sale, into the hands of Richard Ayliff, who, at his death in 1614, was seised of a messuage, an orchard, 200 acres of land, 5 acres of meadow, 100 acres of pasture and 100 acres of wood in Hannington, North Oakley and Kingsclere in the tenure of Richard Soper, called Freemantle Farm. (fn. 295) The subsequent history of this holding is identical with that of North Oakley. (fn. 296)
The manor of HANNINGTON, subsequently called HANNINGTON LANCELEVY from its early holders, is probably represented by the 1 hide of land in Hannington worth 20s. which had been held by Estan in parage of Edward the Confessor, and was held by Lewin of William I in 1086. (fn. 297) By the 13th century it had passed to Peter Fitz Herbert, who received a charter of free warren for fox, hare and roe-deer in Wolverton, Oakley and Hannington and in all their lands within the hundred of Kingsclere from Henry III. (fn. 298) He was succeeded by his son Herbert, who seems to have granted the manor to John de Lancelevy to hold of him and his heirs, for the latter is returned as holding half a knight's fee in Hannington of Herbert Fitz Peter. (fn. 299) That the manor continued for some time to be held of the manor of North Oakley is apparent from the fact that the grant of Hannington to Southwick Priory in 1384 was confirmed by Sir Edward de St. John, who was at that time lord of the manor of North Oakley. (fn. 300)
In 1333 the manor was settled upon John Lancelevy and Alice his wife in fee-tail, with contingent remainder to Thomas de Boarhunt and Margaret his wife for life, with remainder to their son John and his issue by his wife Mary. (fn. 301) Alice Lancelevy was still holding the manor in 1346, (fn. 302) and it is probable that she did not die until after 1359, for John de Boarhunt was not seised of it at his death in the latter year. (fn. 303) The fact, however, that in 1363 Sir Bernard Brocas obtained a grant of free warren in the demesne lands of his manor of Hannington (fn. 304) shows that by this time it had passed to him in right of his wife Mary the widow of John de Boarhunt. (fn. 305) In the same year John, son of Herbert de Boarhunt, to whom the reversion of the manor had belonged since the death of John de Boarhunt's son and heir John, made it over to Valentine atte Mede of Bramdean, (fn. 306) probably for settlement on Sir Bernard, as the latter was certainly seised of it in his own right in 1385, in which year he granted it with the exception of 6 marks rent to the Prior and convent of Southwick 'for celebrating divine service daily for the good estate of the king, the said Bernard and Katherine his wife while living and for their souls after death, and for the soul of the late king, Mary the late wife of Bernard and the parents and ancestors of Bernard and Mary.' (fn. 307) The 6 marks rent he granted to a chaplain to celebrate divine service daily in the parish church of Clewer (fn. 308) (co. Berks.), and this gift was confirmed to William Northleigh, the perpetual chaplain of the chantry by Richard Nowell, the Prior of Southwick, on 26 May 1385. (fn. 309) The manor remained in the possession of the priory until its suppression in 1538. (fn. 310) In 1540 the king granted it as part of her jointure to Anne of Cleves on his marriage with her, (fn. 311) while in the following year he granted it for life to Catherine Howard, in whose hands it remained until her execution in 1542. (fn. 312) The king next granted it to his servant John Leigh, (fn. 313) who sold it in 1544 to John Fisher of Overton. (fn. 314) John died seised in 1545, (fn. 315) having by will left the manor to his wife Margery for life with remainder to his son and heir John. (fn. 316) Margery subsequently married William Kettyll, but had been left a widow a second time before 1562, (fn. 317) in which year she and her son John sought to recover the manor from Jane Knight and her son John, who based their claim on a lease made by the prior and convent before the Dissolution. (fn. 318) They were apparently reinstated, as John Fisher was in possession at his death in 1591. (fn. 319) Seven years later his son and heir William conveyed it to Richard Fisher, (fn. 320) who sold it in 1602 to Richard Ayliff and Elizabeth his wife. (fn. 321) From the latter it was purchased in 1610 by Edmund Marshe, (fn. 322) who died in 1630, leaving as his heir his only daughter Elizabeth the wife of Cuthbert Mayne, citizen and cloth-worker of London. (fn. 323) In the same year Cuthbert Mayne and Elizabeth conveyed Hannington Lancelevy to Francis Rivett, (fn. 324) but by 1699 the manor had fallen into two moieties, held respectively by Frances (fn. 325) the wife of Ellis Mews, and Margery the wife of Walter Godfrey, who in that year dealt with it by fine. (fn. 326) Ellis Mews subsequently took the name and arms of St. John by Act of Parliament, and was succeeded in the possession of his moiety by his son Paulet St. John, (fn. 327) upon whom it was settled in 1731. (fn. 328) The other moiety was again subdivided, half passing to John Weekes, who in conjunction with Ellis and his wife conveyed it in 1761 to William Howard, (fn. 329) who in the following year conveyed it to Richard Wardroper. (fn. 330) The other half was purchased by Sir Paulet St. John, who had been created a baronet in 1772, and from him descended to his grandson, Sir Henry Paulet St. John, bart., (fn. 331) who dealt with three-quarters of the manor of Hannington Lancelevy by recovery in 1786. (fn. 332) The remaining quarter was conveyed to Thomas Day in 1778 by John Pett and Anne his wife, William Howard and Elizabeth his wife, Robert Corrall and Hannah his wife, Elizabeth Stone and Thomas Marshall Jordan, (fn. 333) and in 1826 was in the possession of Richard Jordan, the son of Thomas Marshall Jordan, (fn. 334) Phineas Pett, D.D., Canon of Christchurch, (fn. 335) Anne Pett and Elizabeth Pett, who in that year dealt with it by fine. (fn. 336) Hannington now belongs, except for small holdings, to the Duke of Wellington.
The manor of EDMUNDSTHORP BENHAM (Aedmundestorp, xii cent.; Edmondestrop, xiv cent.; Edmondistropp, Edmynstrop Benam, xvi cent.) is not mentioned in Domesday Book by name, but is probably represented by the 2 hides assessed at I virgate which Edwin the huntsman was holding at the time of the Survey of the gift of King Edward the Confessor. (fn. 337) Ruald de Woodcott's grant of land in Kingsclere to the nuns of Godstow was witnessed by Michael de Edmundsthorp, (fn. 338) probably the father of the William who was holding Edmundsthorp in 1167. (fn. 339) It is probable that the latter was identical with the William de Edmundsthorp who was returned as holding 1 virgate of land in Edmundsthorp worth 20s. of the old enfeoffment of the king in chief by the serjeanty of guarding the forest of Wittingley. (fn. 340) After the forest of Wittingley ceased to be a royal forest, viz. after 1227, in which year Henry III granted it in free alms to the Dean and chapter of Rouen, (fn. 341) who were lords of the manor of Kingsclere, the manor was held by the serjeanty of keeping the king's park or forest of Freemantle. (fn. 342) Henry de Edmundsthorp, the successor of William, discharged the serjeanty in person, as is apparent from the king's order to him in 1279 to permit the Abbot of Hyde to take timber in his own woods within the forest of Freemantle necessary for the repair of the frater of the abbey. (fn. 343) Later the service was commuted for an annual payment of 2d. at Winchester Castle, (fn. 344) and although as late at least as the 16th century the manor was said to be held by the service of keeping the king's park of Freemantle, receiving thence 3d. a day, (fn. 345) it is quite clear that this service was but nominal, as the real keepers of the park were appointed by the king from time to time. Henry de Edmundsthorp, for the safety of his soul and that of his wife Isabel, granted 2 acres in Kingsclere to the nunnery of Godstow in free alms. (fn. 346) He died in 1306, (fn. 347) leaving two daughters and co-heirs, Alice the wife of John de Benham and Pavia. On 20 December 1306 their father's property was divided equally between them, (fn. 348) but in 1308, Pavia having obtained permission to alienate her moiety, (fn. 349) John de Benham paid the king a fine of 20s. for licence to enter into possession. (fn. 350) He died seised of 1 messuage, 64 acres of arable land, 2 acres of meadow, and 9s. 2d. rent in the vill of Kingsclere in 1338, leaving a son and heir Richard de Benham, (fn. 351) who died in 1361, his heir being his son John, aged twenty-three. (fn. 352) The property, which at the time of John's death in 1419 was described as 1 messuage, 40 acres of arable land and 6 acres of meadow in Edmundsthorp Benham, (fn. 353) passed from him to his son Philip, who died in 1427, leaving a son and heir William. (fn. 354) In 1463 William, who died three years later, (fn. 355) settled a messuage and 4 virgates of land in Edmundsthorp Benham upon himself and his second wife Eleanor in fee-tail, (fn. 356) thus passing over Joan, Alice and Margaret, his three daughters by his first wife Agnes. (fn. 357) Eleanor afterwards married as her second husband More. On her death in 1497 her property was divided between her two daughters by William BenhamJoan wife of Ellis Goulde and Elizabeth Edwards, aged respectively thirty-nine and thirty-six. (fn. 358) Elizabeth apparently died without issue, as at her death in 1527 Joan was seised of 3 messuages, 100 acres of land, 5 acres of meadow, 20 acres of wood and 3 acres of moor in Edmundsthorp and Kingsclere held of the king as of Winchester Castle by rent of 2d. a year and by the service of keeping the king's park of Freemantle. (fn. 359) Her heirs were her daughter, Mary the wife of Peter Hunsdon, and her granddaughter Mary, wife of William Wigmore and daughter of her deceased daughter Eleanor Pole. (fn. 360) The so-called manor of Edmundsthorp Benham fell as her purparty to Mary, and was conveyed by her and her husband in 1529 to trustees (fn. 361) for sale to the president and scholars of Corpus Christi College, who proved their title in 1533. (fn. 362) In 1542 Peter Hunsdon and Mary his wife settled their purparty of the land in Edmundsthorp Benham and Kingsclere upon themselves for life with remainder to their son Jeremy. (fn. 363) Alexander Hunsdon dealt with premises in Kingsclere by recovery in 1564, (fn. 364) but the further history of these tenements has not been traced.
The site of the manor is marked at the present time by Beenham Court, the seat of Mr. John Ashley Waller, J.P., (fn. 365) who has owned the property since 1883.
The Fauconers or Fawkners for a long period had large possessions in the parish sometimes dignified by the name of the manor of KINGSCLERE or LYMMERS. (fn. 366) They were already settled here in 1403, in which year William of Wykeham granted licence to William Fauconer and Margery his wife to have a chapel in their mansion at Kingsclere. (fn. 367) In 1404 William obtained a forty years' lease of the chief manor of Kingsclere from John de Melton, (fn. 368) and died in 1413, (fn. 369) being perhaps succeeded by the Richard Fauconer (fn. 370) who in 1408 was pardoned for the death of John Belmy or Belamy at Kingsclere. (fn. 371) Dame Eleanor Manners, widow of William Fauconer, who was the son and heir of Richard, (fn. 372) died in 1493, (fn. 373) and on her death the Fauconer estate passed to William's son and heir Thomas. (fn. 374) Thomas at his death in 1510 was seised of the following property in the parish:2 messuages, 105 acres of land, 20 acres of pasture, 10 acres of wood, 8 acres of moor, 10 acres of heath and 3 acres of meadow of the yearly value of 4 marks held of John Melton as of his manor of Kingsclere, 9 messuages, 9 gardens and 30 acres of land of the yearly value of 5 marks held of the Prior of Bisham, and a messuage and lands held of the master and scholars of the college of St. Elizabeth next Winchester. (fn. 375) His heir was his son William, aged forty and more, (fn. 376) who was followed by his son Peter. (fn. 377) Peter died about 1590, having by will devised his property to his grandson Peter, son of his son Edward, in tail-male with contingent remainder in tail-male successively to his sons John, William and Richard. (fn. 378) Peter died without issue in 1600, his heir being his sister Dorothy, wife of Richard Ayliff, (fn. 379) and consequently the manor, mansion or dwelling-house in Kingsclere called Lymmers and the other property in the parish passed to his uncle John. (fn. 380) Thomas Fauconer, son of Thomas and grandson of John, was living in 1634, (fn. 381) but by 1670 the estate had passed to John Fauconer, who in that year suffered forfeiture for an assault made on 20 May 1669 on Sir Dowse Fuller. (fn. 382) The name Lymmers has now been lost, but the estate was probably situated in the extreme north of the parish near the River Enborne. Such at least is the position of Ashfordhill Farm and Ridding Farm, of both of which Peter Fauconer died seised in 1600.
The church of Kingsclere as far back as Saxon times was endowed with a manor of its own, the name of which has come down to the present day as the PARSONAGE TITHING. Queen Edith, wife of Edward the Confessor and daughter of Earl Godwin, held it in her widowhood until her death, when it reverted to William the Conqueror, who granted it, together with the church of Kingsclere, to Hyde Abbey in return for the land in High Street, Winchester, on which he built a royal palace. (fn. 383)
At the time of the Domesday Survey the church with 4 hides 1 virgate belonging to it was held by Hyde Abbey, (fn. 384) and from this date the manor of the rectory followed the same descent as the advowson, being granted as 1 acre of land to Bisham Abbey (co. Berks.) by William Montagu Earl of Salisbury in 1337. (fn. 385) It reverted to William Marquess of Winchester on the death of Anne of Cleves in 1557 (fn. 386) in accordance with a grant of 1545, (fn. 387) and from this date followed the same descent as the chief manor of Kingsclere (q.v.).
Besides the lands the history of which has been traced there was an estate in KINGSCLERE at the time of the Domesday Survey, assessed at half a hide and held by Alwin Wit of Miles Crispin. (fn. 388) The later history of this holding is obscure, although, of course, it may be identical either in whole or in part with any of the sub-manors in Kingsclere which are not mentioned by name in Domesday Book.
The church of ST. MARY consists of a chancel 43 ft. 4 in. by 20 ft. 6 in., with a vestry on the north side, south chapel 44 ft. 9 in. by 18 ft. 4 in., central tower 20 ft. 9 in. square, north and south transepts each 20 ft. 3 in. by 17 ft. 2 in., and a nave 66 ft. 6 in. by 22 ft. 7 in., all the measurements being internal.
The general plan of the church at its first building, c. 113040, consisted of nave, chancel and transepts as at present, with a low tower over the crossing, the chancel being shorter than the present one. About 1270 the chancel was lengthened and a south chapel was added, opening to the chancel and south transept. In the 15th century this chapel was made equal in width to the south transept, and new windows were inserted in various places, and the tower was raised, according to an illustration which shows the building as it stood in 1847. (fn. 389) In 1848 a large amount of restoration was done, including the facing of all the walls with flint, the rubble being cut back to a depth of 9 in. to make room for this except at the quoins. Some old mullion stones and pieces of moulding are used to bond the flint facing. The tower was altered and copies of 12th-century windows were inserted in the place of the 15th-century ones. Several other windows were inserted or restored in different parts of the building, and a new west doorway was built.
The vestry is modern, but part of the doorway leading into it from the chancel shows that one existed in the same position at an earlier date.
The tracery of the east window of the chancel is new and consists of three cinquefoiled lights with three cinquefoiled circles in the head. The internal jambs of c, 1280 are hollow chamfered and shafted at the angles with moulded capitals and bases. The rear arch is richly moulded and has a scroll-moulded label, the carved head stops of which are almost destroyed.
The easternmost window in the north wall of the chancel is of the same date, a single lancet with chamfered external jambs and plain internal splays with a moulded rear arch having a moulded label returned at the springing.
The second north window near the west end of the chancel is composed of two uncusped lights under a two-centred arch, the spandrel being filled up with flint, and in the middle is inserted a small 12th-century stone ornamented with incised diaper work.
The internal jambs and rear arch are very similar to those of the east window.
The vestry doorway between these two windows has modern chamfered jambs and a pointed hollowchamfered arch of 13th-century date, with a scroll and bead label having returned ends.
The vestry has two small lights in the north wall and an outer doorway in the west.
The south arcade of the chancel is of three bays with piers composed of four engaged round shafts having moulded bases and capitals. The arches are two-centred and have two hollow-chamfered orders.
The east (fn. 390) and two south windows of the south chapel have each three cinquefoiled lights under a four-centred arch with a moulded label of late 15th-century date, and near the west end of the south wall is a late 13th-century doorway with double chamfered jambs and slightly segmental arch of the same section.
The arch between the chapel and the south transept is similar to those of the arcade above described, but is wider and nearly semicircular, having been widened at the widening of the south chapel. The jambs have no moulded bases but stop abruptly on chamfered plinths. The four crossing arches are semicircular and of two orders, their jambs having been chamfered and cut away, and the abaci are modern throughout; they probably had jamb shafts originally, but these have all been destroyed. The east arch is plain towards the chancel, the outer order setting out only a few inches beyond the inner, but is of two enriched orders with a label on the west, the inner order having a series of flat cheverons terminating in roll joints, while the outer has a large roll and a border of zigzag.
The north and south arches have a large edge roll between the orders on the faces towards the crossing, but are otherwise plain, and the west arch, which is completely renewed on the west face, has a roll to the inner order on both faces, and on the outer order a diaper of two rows of four-leaved flowers on the west side, with a billet label.
The abaci continue as strings to the north and south walls, and beneath them runs a band of most effective ornament, consisting of a series of spiral coils branching off on either side of a chequered stem.
In a like position under the abaci of the east arch, and returned westward on both sides, is a band of scale ornament in modern stonework.
The small round-headed windows of the second stage of the tower, two on each face, light the crossing, which has a good modern painted and gilt wooden ceiling.
The east window of the north transept, of the same date as those in the chancel, was blocked up in 1848, and until quite recently only the inner jambs were showing. Now it has been opened out and has two pointed lights with a pierced spandrel over, the tracery being all new, but a few old stones which were found showed this to have been the original design.
The north window of the north transept was restored in 1848, being substituted for a smaller window to match the corresponding one in the opposite transept, but the internal jambs belong to a 15th-century -window and have shafts with moulded capitals and a moulded rear arch. This transept is the burial-place of the Woodruffe family.
The south window of the south transept is of 15th-century date and has three cinquefoiled lights and perpendicular tracery. The jambs are sunk and chamfered outside but plain inside. At the time when there was a gallery in this transept the south window was not in the centre of the wall, but this was corrected when the gallery was removed in 1848. To the east of this window is a small piscina with chamfered jambs and four-centred head. The basin is missing.
The windows of the nave have been altered considerably at different times. Prior to the 1848 restoration there were two 12th-century windows in the north wall, and below the eastern of the two an inserted window of late date. The south wall had four windows, three being of 12th-century date with a lower one of later date, as in the north wall. In 1848 these lower windows were closed, and one north window (the present second from the east) and three south windows were allowed to remain. For the sake of more light and uniformity an extra window was added near the east end of the south wall and three others in the north wall, all copies of the 12th-century windows, which have plain semicircular heads and wide splayed jambs with a large edge roll on the inside.
The west window is a copy (1848) of Norman work inserted in the place of a threelight 15th-century window. Some of the stones of the inside arch of this window are, however, of real 12th-century workmanship, removed apparently from elsewhere. They have a large edge roll and a band of incised diaper work, which is copied round the remainder of the jambs and arch.
The doorway below this window is also modern of 12 th - century design with shafted jambs, moulded bases, scalloped capitals and a semicircular arch enriched with cheverons and billets.
The 12th-century north doorway has been blocked and shows on the outside only. The jambs are of two orders much restored. The shafts are missing, but the mutilated scalloped capitals remain with grooved and chamfered abaci. The inner order of the semicircular arch is modern and has diaper enrichment, but the outer with double-cheveron ornament and the moulded label are both original. Built into the blocking of this doorway is an old weatherworn stone head, representing a bishop.
The tower is of three stages finished with a plain parapet carried by a billeted corbel table of nebuly pattern. The windows in each face of the top stage are of 12th-century design. The small windows just above the roofs in the lower stage belong to the original 12th-century work, but have been partly restored. There are two in each face except on the west side, that has only one on account of the stair turret, which is placed at the south-west angle, more to the south than the west. It is square below and circular after it clears the eaves of the roofs, and is finished off at the corbel table level with a conical roof. A dividing line between the ashlar facing and flint shows where the 12th-century work finished off. All the roofs are covered with lead.
The woodwork of the chancel and north and south transept roofs is modern. That of the nave has the stumps of the tie-beams of a much flatter 15th-century roof, used as hammer-beams with modern carvedbracket supports. The moulded cornice with the series of trefoiled panels over and the jacks to the hammer-beams are also old. The corbels supporting the easternmost brackets are of 15th-century date, having carved heads, one a crowned king, apparently Richard II, and the other a child, surmounted by semi-octagonal moulded abaci.
The font, which is placed near the west end of the nave on the south side, has a shallow square 12th-century Purbeck marble bowl with a hollow scalloped capital at each corner. The shafts and bases to these and the large stem in the centre are modern. The east face of the bowl has a row of large pointed leaves, the south face has a series of hollow flutes, on the west side are three roses and on the north face is a four-leaf flower between two disks. There is a pretty 17th-century cover.
The pulpit is an elaborate example of early 17th-century woodwork, hexagonal in form with two tiers of panels, the lower arched and the upper rectangular, every available space being carved with shallow arabesque patterns, the 'antick work' of the time. It stands under the tower, on a modern pedestal.
In the north-east corner of the south chapel is a large altar tomb to Sir Henry Kingsmill, 'Kt, Son and Heir of Sir Wm. Kingsmill of Sydmonton in the county of Hants, who married Bridget White, a daughter of John White of Southom, Esq., by whom he had five sons and two daughters. He died in 1625 and his widow erected this monument in 1670 and died in 1672.' On the slab are two recumbent alabaster effigies. Sir Henry is in the armour of the time of Charles I. He has his right hand on his breast, while the other is holding the scabbard of his sword, which is broken away. His wife wears a veil and a tight bodice and has her left hand on her breast and holds a book and a handkerchief in the other.
On a lozenge at the east end of the tomb are the arms of Kingsmill impaling White. At the head of the base are the Kingsmill arms with the crest of a hand holding a millrind. On the floor of the south chapel is a 16th-century brass plate to Sir John Kingsmill (ob. Aug. 11, 1556), who married Constance Goring, with a Latin inscription giving an account of the large family born to a Kingsmill of Sydmonton, and on a shield are the Kingsmill arms impaling quarterly (1) a cheveron between three rings, (2) on a chief indented three molets, (3) on a chief three roundels, (4) on a bend cotised four lions passant, (5) barry of six with a leopard s head on a quarter. There are four other brasses in this chapel, one to John Bossewell, gentleman and 'notarye publique,' who died in 1580. (fn. 391) Above the inscription is a shield bearing the arms of Bossewell, which are Argent a fesse indented gules with three molets sable in the chief.
The next is a small brass figure of a priest in Mass vestments and having a shaven head, and the inscription shows him to be 'Willm. Estwod late Vycar of this churche and Psonne of Newnom,' who died in 1519.
The third brass has a small figure of a lady in a close-fitting dress holding her hands in prayer. The inscription reads: 'Jhu have mercy on the soule of Cisily Gobard which dyed 17 Feb. an 1503.'
The fourth brass is to Elizabeth Hunt, wife of Jacob Hunt of Popham, who died in 1606.
Let into the middle of the chapel floor is fixed an old stone coffin in which have been laid some fragments of 15th-century tiles of various patterns, including a winged dragon in a circle, a reversed lion passant, fleur de lis, double eagle, and a counterchange pattern.
The tower contains a ring of six bells, all of which were cast by Henry Knight of Reading in 1664, but the fifth was recast in 1849 by Taylor of Loughborough. There is another small bell for the use of the clock only, which was cast by C. & G. Mears of London in 1846.
Under the tower hangs a brass chandelier of ten lights given in 1713 by Amey the wife of Robert Hiam.
The plate consists of a silver chalice, a paten cover of 1707 and two pairs of patens of 1703 and 1704, all inscribed 'The gift of John Fawconer Esq.' with an impaled coat of arms; two other chalices of 1567 and 1568, and a silver flagon of 1670 given by Lady Bridget Kingsmill in that year, bearing the arms of White of Southwick.
There are eleven books of registers, the first one being of great interest, as it is one of the few original paper copies of 1538 and contains entries of baptisms, marriages and burials from that date to 1665. The second book is parchment and has the same entries, and includes the parishes of Ecchinswell and Sydmonton from 1610 to 1638, and the third book continues the same from 1638 to 1673. The fourth book is a paper transcript of all entries from 1653 to 1665. The fifth book is of parchment and has baptisms, marriages and burials from 1665 to 1678. The sixth book contains baptisms from 1682 to 1812 and marriages from 1682 to 1754, with three others dating 1772, 1802 and 1810. The seventh book has marriages and banns from 1754 to 1777, the eighth marriages from 1777 to 1806, and the ninth continues them on to 1812. The tenth and eleventh books contain burials from 1678 to 1765 and 1767 to 1812 respectively.
The new church of ST. LAWRENCE, ECCHINSWELL, was rebuilt in 18856 and consecrated in 1886 on a site north of that of the original church, which was demolished in 1885. It is of cut flint with stone dressings in 13th-century style, and consists of chancel, nave, aisles, south porch and tower with spire containing two bells. There is a fine oak screen.
The plate consists of a silver chalice and paten cover of 1570, a silver paten of 1879 and a silver flagon of 1871.
The registers begin in 1844, the earlier register being included in that of Kingsclere.
The church of ST. MARY, SYDMONTON, stands in the beautifully kept grounds of Sydmonton Court, surrounded by a grass lawn; the house is to the north, and to the south is a terrace walk looking across the valley. The church is a modern building finished in 1853 (fn. 392) in 14th-century style and consists of a chancel 18 ft. by 11 ft. 6 in. with an organ chamber on the north side, a nave 34 ft. 3 in. by 16 ft. 9 in. with a south porch, and a west tower 10 ft. by 9 ft. 7 in., the measurements being internal.
The most interesting parts of the building are the three re-used early 12th-century arches, one to the north doorway of the nave now blocked, another to the south doorway, and the third in the east wall of the tower. The first two are exactly alike and have an inner order of rich diaper work and an outer order of hatched ornament.
The tower arch has a particularly effective design of scrolls growing from a central stem on the inner order, while the outer order has a large cable moulding. The abaci and jambs of all these arches are modern. All the fittings of the church are new, including the plain octagonal font at the west end of the nave.
The walls are of flint with stone dressings, faced inside with ashlar, and the ground stage of the tower has a stone rib vault. The roofs are of oak, open in the nave, and panelled, with carved bosses, in the chancel, and are covered with tiles. The tower is of two stages with a panelled parapet and a stair turret at the south-east; the belfry windows are single cinquefoiled lights, and there is a smaller cinquefoiled west window in the lower stage.
There are six bells, all by Mears & Stainbank, the tenor and fifth being cast in 1853 and the others in 1869.
The plate consists of a silver chalice, paten cover and paten of 1707 inscribed 'ex dono Rebecca Kingsmill'; a silver flagon of 1723 inscribed 'The gift of Dame Rebecca Kingsmill to ye chappel of South Sidmonton . . . 1723'; and a silver alms dish.
There was a church in the parish in Saxon times. It was held by Queen Edith, widow of Edward the Confessor, until her death, when it reverted to William the Conqueror, (fn. 393) who granted it together with 4 hides and 1 virgate of land in Kingsclere to Hyde Abbey in exchange for land in Winchester on which he built a royal palace. (fn. 394) The advowson remained in the possession of Hyde Abbey for over a century, but eventually fell into the hands of Peter Fitz Herbert, lord of the manors of North Oakley and Wolverton. (fn. 395) At the beginning of the 13th century he engaged in a dispute with Walter Abbot of Hyde about his right to it, (fn. 396) and in 1217 obtained a confirmation from the abbot in return for a charter granting the abbey 100 lb. of wax yearly. (fn. 397) This rent continued to be paid for a considerable period, (fn. 398) and in 1346 the Abbot of Hyde succeeded in recovering from the Prior of Bisham, who was at the time the patron of the living, arrears of rent amounting to 2,010 lb. of wax. (fn. 399)
Henry III presented James de Kewurthe to the church in 1246, (fn. 400) and by succession the advowson passed to Edward I, who presented in 1275, 12912 and 1296. (fn. 401) John de Drokensford, who had been instituted rector in 1296, in 13056 presented Richard de Hamme to the vicarage, and on this occasion it was agreed that the vicar should receive all the tithes belonging to the church excepting the tithe of all kinds of corn, of lambs, wool and hay and mortuaries and 10 of the oblations to the Holy Cross. Moreover, for his residence the vicar had assigned to him the dwelling called La Morwell in the churchyard of the parish church of Kingsclere (fn. 402) for the support of himself and a 'fit chaplain.'
Edward II presented rectors in 1309 (fn. 403) and 1317, (fn. 404) but in 1318, having formed the design of refounding the house of Dominican Friars of Guildford and appropriating it to Dominican sisters instead of friars, he wrote a letter to the pope soliciting permission to endow the nunnery with the appropriation of the rectory of Kingsclere. (fn. 405) The application, however, failed (fn. 406); the friars continued to hold the house according to the original foundation, and the advowson of the church remained in the hands of the king, passing from him to Edward III, who in 1336 sold it for 500 marks to William Montagu Earl of Salisbury. (fn. 407) A year later the earl granted the advowson to the monastery of Bisham (co. Berks.), which he had just founded, (fn. 408) and in the same year the bishop granted licence to the prior and convent to appropriate the church. (fn. 409) From this date the prior and convent presented the vicars until July 1536, (fn. 410) when Bisham was surrendered to the king. (fn. 411) Six months later the king founded an abbey at Bisham of the order of St. Benedict and endowed it with the house, lands and all appurtenances of the priory of Bisham, the lands of the abbey of Chertsey and of various other priories, (fn. 412) but this new abbey lasted for only six months, (fn. 413) and on its dissolution the rectory and the advowson of the vicarage of Kingsclere fell again into the hands of the king, who in 1541 granted them to Anne of Cleves. (fn. 414) On her death in 1557 they reverted to William Marquess of Winchester in accordance with a grant of 1545, (fn. 415) and from this date the advowson has followed the same descent as the manor, (fn. 416) the present patron of the vicarage and impropriator of the great tithes being Lord Bolton. Dependent upon the mother-church of Kingsclere were the chapelries of North Oakley, Ecchinswell and Sydmonton. (fn. 417) North Oakley Chapel has now disappeared, and its site is marked at the present day by Church Hanger, which is situated a little to the north of Warren Bottom Copse in the tithing of North Oakley. Ecchinswell and Sydmonton continued to be served from Kingsclere until 1852, (fn. 418) in which year Ecchinswell was constituted a separate vicarage with that of Sydmonton annexed in the patronage of the vicar of Kingsclere for the time being. (fn. 419) During the 13th and 14th centuries the Bishops of Winchester collated to the portion or prebend of Nuthanger or Ecchinswell which consisted of the tithes proceeding from the demesne lands of the manor. (fn. 420) In 1446 Henry Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester, obtained licence from the Crown to alienate the advowson of the free chapel belonging to his manor of Ecchinswell to the hospital of St. Cross near Winchester. (fn. 421) All trace of this chapel has now been lost. The grant must have included the portion of Nuthanger, although it is not specified, for at the present day 225 of the great tithe of Ecchinswell is paid to St. Cross. (fn. 422)
There was a chapel belonging to the manor of Frobury called the free chapel of St. Thomas, Frobury, (fn. 423) which dated back to the end of the 13th century, Beatrice de Wintershill presenting a chaplain during the episcopacy of John of Pontoise (12821304). (fn. 424) In the reign of Edward VI its endowment, consisting of lands and tenements in Frobury of the annual value of 2 6s. 8d., in the tenure of Andrew Chamberlayn, and a rent of 1s. issuing from 6 acres of land lying in the common fields under the will of one Agnes Langford, became Crown property, (fn. 425) and so continued until 1554, in which year Queen Mary granted the lands to Henry Smythe on a lease of twenty-one years at a rent of 2 6s. 8d. (fn. 426) Seven years later Queen Elizabeth granted the chapel with all its appurtenances to William Paulet Marquess of Winchester, (fn. 427) and from this time it followed the same descent as the manor, although it was sometimes let on long leases. (fn. 428) The ruins of the chapel can still be seen on the south side of Frobury Farm.
According to tradition a chapel also existed near Stratton Farm, (fn. 429) a short distance to the south of Beenham Court, and 16th-century tiles were found when the present house was built showing where the chapel floor had been.
Owing to the fact that the living of Kingsclere was a vicarage, and that various chapelries were dependent upon it, there were frequent disputes about the payment of tithes. Thus during the episcopacy of Henry Woodlock (130516) an inquisition was held to ascertain the value of the tithes of the church of Kingsclere. (fn. 430) Again, in 13212 all the parishioners of the church of Kingsclere were ordered to pay in full all just and true tithes without any diminution or subtraction, (fn. 431) while, by order of Adam Orlton, Bishop of Winchester (133345), an inquiry was held to discover the true value of the church and the great tithes of Ecchinswell and Sydmonton. (fn. 432) But it was in the 17th century that there was the greatest controversy about the payment of tithes. Thus, in 1666, Dr. Edward Webbe, chaplain in ordinary to Charles II and vicar of Kingsclere, engaged in a dispute with Richard Kent, the farmer of the appropriate tithes of Ecchinswell and Sydmonton, as to which tithes were payable to him and which to Richard Kent. (fn. 433) In 1668 Richard Kent sued Robert Lush, the farmer of Sydmonton, for tithes from Sydmonton, (fn. 434) but this dispute was ended in the same year, since it was found that the tenants of Sydmonton farm had a right to compound for their tithes by the annual payment of 1 acre of wheat and 1 acre of barley. (fn. 435) Some years later Dr. Edward Webbe claimed tithes of rabbits from a warrener, John Newman by name, but by the deposition of witnesses taken at the 'Sign of the Crown' in Kingsclere on 19 October 1674 it appeared that no tithe-rabbits had ever been paid from 'Wakeridge Warren,' and that 2s. a year only had been paid in lieu of tithes from 'Kingsleaze.' (fn. 436) About the same time Dr. Edward Webbe claimed the small tithes from Ecchinswell and Sydmonton, but by the depositions of witnesses taken on 19 October 1674 it was found that it had long been the custom to pay them direct to the curate who served the cure, and that some time before the inhabitants of Sydmonton out of charity had agreed with one another to almost double their contributions because the 'newly come curate one Mr. Smith had a great family of children and was but in a mean condition.' (fn. 437) Ambrose Webbe, the son and successor of Dr. Edward Webbe, who died in 1680, pursued the same policy as his father, and in the reign of James II claimed from John Matthew and Noah Starling tithe-corn from woody and bushy ground that had been grubbed up above the common within the parish, whereas it was really payable to the rector impropriate. (fn. 438)
The living of Kingsclere Woodlands is a vicarage in the gift of the vicar of Kingsclere for the time being. The church of St. Peter, Headley Common, was built on a site given by Mrs. Goddard and consecrated in 1868.
There is a Baptist chapel on Headley Common opened in 1836, and a Wesleyan chapel in the market place of Kingsclere, while there are no fewer than three Primitive Methodist chapels in the modern parish of Kingsclere Woodlands, situated respectively at Plastow Green, Ashford Hill and Wolverton End. The Congregational chapel in Ecchinswell was built in 1812. In 1672 Charles II, in answer to a petition from divers inhabitants of the parish of Kingsclere, granted licence to Richard Avery, a Presbyterian, to preach to them in the house of a certain William Jones. (fn. 439)
The Girls' School (Church) was built in 1839. The Boys' School (National) was built in 1861, to replace the ruinous free school, and a class-room for fifty infants was added in 1873. The school at Kingsclere Woodlands (Church) was built in 1863 and enlarged in 1895. The school at Headley (National) was built in 18723. The children of Sydmonton attend the school at Ecchinswell (Church), which dates from 1861.
The free school, also called the 'Litten School,' the date of foundation of which is unknown, was endowed with 20 a year by will of Sir James Lancaster, dated 18 April 1618, which is paid by the Corporation of Basingstoke and applied to the Boys' School.
Sir James Lancaster likewise directed that 10 a year should be paid for distribution to the poor in bread and otherwise. The annuity is regularly received from the corporation.
The poor also receive a moiety of the income of 14 acres known as Osman's Lands (gift of John Chamberlain, 1649), now let at 20 (see church estate below); an annuity of 20s. by will of William Pigeon, paid out of a farm called Stantons; an annuity of 20s. charged by will of William Atfield, 1658, on the Old Farm; an annuity of 20s. charged by George Higham on Westlands; an annuity of 4. (subject to the payment of 1 to the churchwardens) in respect of charity of Andrew Chamberlain, paid out of a form called Pitchorn.
The poor also receive 8 6s. 8d. a year, being the dividends on 333 6s. 8d. consols held by the official trustees in trust for the charity of James Widmore, founded by codicil to will proved 3 November 1825.
In 19078 the income of these charities for the poor, amounting to 34 6s. 8d., was, less expenses, applied in the distribution of clothing.
John Fauconer by will (date not stated) gave to twelve poor housekeepers the yearly sum of 12 for ever on 25 December, also 3 yearly for ever for the repairs of the parish church. The annuity of 15 (less land tax) is paid out of Woodhouse Farm, Woodlands, by Mrs. Caroline E. Lamb of Knightsbridge House, Newbury. In 1907 2 8s. was paid to the churchwardens and 9 12s. to twenty poor widows.
In 1726 Lady Rebecca Kingsmill by will appointed a sum of 400 to be laid out in land, the profits to be employed in the payment of 1 5s. a year to the incumbent of Kingsclere for a sermon at Sydmonton Chapel on Trinity Sunday and for providing the bread and wine for the sacrament, and to the clerk 5s.; 2 10s. to the poor of North and South Sydmonton, and to twelve poor men of Kingsclere 10s. each.
The sum of 10 is received annually from the owner of certain lands called the Hurst Meadows, now in the possession of the Rev. J. Rolfe Fisher, and is duly applied.
It was stated on the table of benefactions that the Rev. Thomas Brown, a former vicar, in 1586 gave one almshouse and 1 per annum for repairs. The last payment of this was in 1814. The almshouse was rebuilt in 1853 at the expense of Mr. William Holding and the Misses Holding of Elm Grove. It now provides accommodation for four women.
In 1722 Robert Higham, by his will dated 30 May, devised certain properties, the rents and profits thereof to be applied for poor in clothing, for educational purposes and for apprenticing. The trust estates now consist of a farm called Blissett's Farm, containing 51 acres 1 rood 29 poles, 38 acres o roods 33 poles of arable land let partly in allotments, about 4 acres of meadow land, four cottages, i.e. three in the Marsh and one in the Dell, and a piece of waste land in Dell, producing a gross rental of about 115. Trustees were last appointed by an order of the Charity Commissioners of 28 June 1901, and by a further order of 4 March 1904, made under the Board of Education Act 1899, the proportion of the income applicable for educational purposes was determined to be one-fourth. In 19078 20 16s. was applied in clothing, 50 in premiums on apprenticeships and 20 for ten scholars at 2 each.
Church Estate.In addition to a moiety of the rent of Osman's Lands mentioned above, amounting to 10 a year, the churchwardens receive the rents of 3 acres, known as the Crooked Mead, now let at 5 10s. a year, arising from the gift of one Thomas Smith, temp. Henry VIII. Also 1 a year from the gift of Andrew Chamberlain and 2 8s. a year under John Fauconer's gift above mentioned.
The recreation grounds consist of 21 acres in Kingsclere, Headley and Ashford Hill, producing yearly, with certain tolls, 7 14s., which is absorbed in payment of the outgoings.
In 1875 Charles James Kilpin by will, proved at London 14 August, left 200, free of duty, for the benefit of the poor. A portion of the capital amounting to 50 was expended on the school, and the balance invested in 159 3s. 6d. consols, in the names of the Rev. Arthur Thomas Finch and the two churchwardens.
A charity called the Digweed charity founded by Col. William Henry Digweed of Ecchinswell House provides a bed for any parishioner of Ecchinswell at Winchester Hospital and also assistance for the poor there amounting to 4 19s. per annum through the investment of 200 in consols. The charity is administered by the Guardians of the Poor.
Another charity was founded by the parishioners in 1897 called the Queen Victoria Memorial (Maternity) Charity for the purpose of providing nourishment to women after their confinement. The investment of 155 in India 3 per cents, yields 4 5s. 4d. per annum. The charity is administered by a committee, of which the vicar is chairman, hon. secretary and treasurer.